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UNEP tackles deadly roads and dirty bus fleets at the Ecomobility World Festival

The EcoMobility World Festival, taking place from 1-31 October in Johannesburg, will present a real-world vision of integrated, socially inclusive, and environmentally friendly mobility.

As part of the Festival the UNEP Transport Unit and Regional Office for South Africa will be tackling two critical issues;

• The importance of ecomobility in cities to improve road safety, accessibility and the environment — through contribution to a three day series of stakeholder dialogues (as part of the UNEP Share the Road Programme with the support of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile).

• The massive potential for urban bus fleets to promote cleaner air and lower black carbon emissions through cleaner fuels and soot-free buses (with the support of the Climate & Clean Air Coalition).

Tackling these issues will contribute to the prevention of over 3.7 million lives which are lost annually due to outdoor air pollution and 1.24 million deaths every year on the world’s roads.

The UNEP Share the Road Programme offers support to developing and transitional countries in shifting away from prioritizing the movement of cars towards prioritizing the movement of people; through systematic investment Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) infrastructure, such as facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. In September 2015 the programme launched a UNEP Global Dialogue Series on NMT, which is supported by a host of partners including the FIA Foundation for the Automobile, International Road Federation and ITDP – The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, among others. The dialogue series will see discussions on NMT with key decision makers across the globe — be used to inform development of a Global Manifesto on NMT to be published in late 2015.

Discussions at the three, day long Ecomobility festival stakeholder dialogues from Tue 6 — Thu 8 October (covering topics such as how to reshape the urban built environment to promote more space for people — and revert from car orientated cities, the role and impact of shared mobility such as bike share and car-pooling, and how to convince car owners to take the bus, walk or cycle) will contribute to the UNEP Global Dialogue Series on NMT.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) serves as a forum for assessing progress in addressing the challenge of short-lived climate pollutants and for mobilizing resources to accelerate action. It works to catalyse new actions as well as to highlight and bolster existing efforts on near-term climate change and related public health, food and energy security, and environmental issues. The Heavy-Duty Diesel Initiative (HDDI) of the CCAC aims to accelerate the transition of diesel urban bus fleets towards soot-free engine technologies in cities around the world. Led by UNEP and the International Council on Clean Transportation, the aim of this work is to directly inform, motivate, secure, and support the implementation of official commitments to shift toward soot-free urban bus fleets in large cities around the world.

The global transportation sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of black carbon emissions emitted annually, and diesel engines are responsible for more than 95 percent of these emissions. Black carbon is second only to CO2 in its global warming potential. Urban buses are a particularly large source of black carbon emissions in the transport sector. These vehicles will account for 25 percent of black carbon emissions from all passenger and commercial goods transport vehicles in 2015. Buses sold into developing country markets today face limited emission requirements and can emit 250 times or more black carbon than a gasoline passenger vehicle traveling the same distance.

The Clean Bus Fleets International Seminar taking place on Monday 5 October, is targeted at city officials, transport agencies, bus manufacturers and other industry stakeholders, and will discuss the opportunities for cities to shift to cleaner bus fleets, provide an overview of fuel quality in Africa and available technology options, opportunities for discussions with industry stakeholders, and initiate the process of building a global picture of urban bus fleets. The workshop will also provide city officials with a chance to discuss common challenges, and agree ways of moving forward collectively.

Cities attending include Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Abidjan and Accra.


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